Any Utah bankruptcy attorney can attest to the growing number of people looking for bankruptcy protection. For example, in the first four months of 2012, there were 5,670 cases for individual bankruptcy. All indications show that 2012 may be a record year for Utah bankruptcies. As more people look into bankruptcy, they are discovering the advantages and disadvantages of declaring bankruptcy. Believe it or not, there are other options besides filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Before picking up the phone to have your lawyer file for bankruptcy, you should ask this important question: Should I first consider other options? Here are two other options to consider: credit counseling and negotiating. “Credit counseling” means you undergo counseling with a credit specialist, while trying to restructure your debt with your creditors and paying off your debt over time. If you choose this route, you won’t be able to take on new revolving credit generally over the next three to five years. A reputable credit counseling firm can negotiate for a repayment plan with possibly reduced interest rates for you. Your second option in negotiating directly with your creditors. Lenders are looking to get repaid for the money owed them, or even receive whatever money they can get from you. They are sometimes willing to negotiate new payment terms â but you have to ask first. If you feel you are unable to negotiate with your lenders, a seasoned lawyer representing a bankruptcy Utah debtor can handle it for you instead. You can also ask your bankruptcy lawyer to help you restructure your debt; stop the bank from foreclosing your home or repossessing or garnishing your assets; end harassment calls from creditors; and possibly modify your mortgage. While these actions do not improve your credit necessarily, they can at least give you some breathing room. As a bankruptcy attorney Utah resident considering bankruptcy, you should examine all other alternatives to bankruptcy. Any reputable bankruptcy law firm â such as Craig Swapp & Associates â can tell you what your options are and help you implement the best financial plan for your situation. The sooner you ask, the sooner you know what options you have.